Paul Dupree said his girlfriend, Erin Castro, had been turned away from the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte last week because her labor was not far enough along, and they were on their way back to the hospital later in the day when they realized they would not make it in time, ABC's "Good Morning America" reported Monday.
"She told me, 'I think the head is out,' and I said, 'Oh my,'" Dupree said.
He pulled the car into a Jack in the Box restaurant parking lot off the highway in Lincoln County and called 911.
Dupree, who said he previously assisted with delivering babies two times, said he delivered his daughter, Harper Lynn, before emergency responders arrived. He said he had to improvise when she came out with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.
"We had to maneuver her a bit to get the cord untangled and once I got the cord untangled I used my shoestring to tie the cord off," Dupree said.
The parents said the infant was doing well after the birth and they plan to hang on to the shoestring as a memento of the birth.